The benefits of berries

berriesWhen you’re working towards better health through nutrition, berries are an excellent choice, as they’re loaded with the fiber that is essential to a healthy lifestyle, as well as some of the highest antioxidant levels of any fruit. These nutrients help prevent chronic diseases and life-threatening illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and obesity. At our center for nutrition counseling, we recommend that our members try to eat a diverse mix of these berries in order to reap the most benefits. Read on to discover some of the beneficial properties each type of berry can provide.

Blackberries. These plump, dark berries are an optimum choice for those striving to attain better health through nutrition. Blackberries rank the highest in antioxidant value among fruit, and are an excellent source of fiber, lycopene, manganese, and vitamins C, K and E. They are also loaded with anthocyanin and ellagic acids, which provide anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Naturally cholesterol-free and low in sodium, one cup of blackberries contains only 63 calories.

Blueberries. Blueberries are teeming with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Like blackberries, they contain anthocyanin, which may help improve memory. Blueberries are stellar sources of fiber and vitamins A, C, B complex, E and copper, which all help build your immune system, as well as iron, selenium and zinc, which further promotes immunity by raising hemoglobin and oxygen concentration in blood.  Many members of our center for nutrition counseling mix them in Greek yogurt, steel-cut oatmeal and salads.

Raspberries. Like blackberries, raspberries are rich in ellagic acid and anthocyanins. In addition to their antioxidant properties, they’re also loaded with vitamins and minerals including potassium, copper, magnesium, niacin, folate, riboflavin, manganese and vitamin C. With only 64 calories per cup, raspberries are ideal for those trying to lose weight. Their high fiber content aids digestion, while their natural sweet taste may satisfy help curb a sweet tooth.

Cranberries. This tart berry is an excellent source of polyphenols, antioxidants that promote heart health and help stave off disease. They also contain fiber, potassium, vitamins A and C and tannins, which help prevent blood clots.

Strawberries. These sweet berries provide a healthy alternative to sugary desserts. Strawberries are packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants such as phenols, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties, as well as fiber, folate, vitamin C and B-vitamins.

image: By Scott Bauer, USDA ARS [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Great program with very supportive personnel. Great work out class on Sunday.
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